Ell’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0
- Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
The Browns need to solve the never ending story at QB and find their franchise guy; Rosen is the better QB (potentially), but Darnold is battle tested and he can make all of the throws. Darnold actually wants to play for the Browns, which is another plus.
- Giants – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
The Giants need a long term answer at QB whether Eli Manning is back or not and I’m sure they don’t expect to pick this high again anytime soon. Rosen has all the tools and can make the throws, sitting behind Eli for a year would still be his best case scenario.
- Colts – DE/OLB Bradley Chubb, NC State
The Colts defense improved a lot with the free agents and draft selections from last year, but they still have a ways to go; adding the top edge rusher in Bradley Chubb will help a lot. Chubb has good size, athleticism, and a good motor he will be an immediate starter and star on the defense, as the best overall defensive player in the draft.
- Browns – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
The Browns are in need of play makers at many spots, but with the best overall and offensive player in the draft available, Saquon Barkley is a RB they can move all over the field. Barkley is a workhorse back like Todd Gurley who also has the hands to not come off the field.
- Broncos – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
The Broncos need a franchise QB and they don’t plan to pick this high again, Josh Allen is a big country boy with a big arm and good athleticism. Luckily, the Broncos coaching staff has the chance to coach Allen at the Senior Bowl and they will be intrigued by what they see.
- Jets – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
The Jets would love to pick a QB here, but no QB outside of Darnold, Rosen, and Allen is top 10 worthy; making this a possible trade down spot. HC Todd Bowles is known for his blitzing defenses, but this team could use some help at CB. Fitzpatrick is the top rated DB, a movable piece and immediate starter in the secondary; it’s believed he will be a CB in the league which the Jets sorely need.
- Bucs – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
The Bucs took a big step back this season, despite having the talent; that usually means there’s a problem in the trenches. Nelson is considered the best O-lineman in the draft, despite playing Guard and he can help upgrade a problem position and hopefully jump starts the running game again.
- Bears –CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Bears could really use a #1 WR to help QB Mitchell Trubisky grow in his 2nd year, but with the CB position full of pending free agents the Bears need to add someone. Ward is a slightly undersized CB who plays bigger than he is with good coverage, speed, and recovery skills to knock the ball out.
- 49ers – SS Derwin James, Florida State
The 49ers could go a lot of different ways with this pick making this a very likely trade down spot to acquire more picks. However, in this case James would be an enforcer on the back end for a secondary in need picked by a GM who knows the importance of the position in John Lynch.
- Raiders – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
The Raiders really need a CB, but the MLB position has been a problem for years. Tremaine Edmunds is the prototypical LB with good size, speed, and athleticism; the Raiders will have to decide between Edmunds and Smith, but the Raiders have always loved size, speed, and talent.
- Dolphins – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
The Dolphins need a long term MLB with veteran Lawrence Timmons serving as only a band aid. Smith is a slightly undersized MLB who plays with good speed, athleticism, and instincts. He would be a welcome addition in the middle or even on the weak side.
- Bengals – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
The Bengals need a LT and should have their pick of the crop at this point in the draft with the 49ers pick pending. Brown is a huge tackle who excels in both pass and run blocking with good fundamentals and genes from a father who also played O-line for the Browns and Ravens.
- Redskins – DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
The Redskins could go many ways with this pick, but after the trade for QB Alex Smith this pick will definitely be defensive. Davenport is rising up draft boards as a high motor pass rusher, despite coming from a small school; he has wowed teams at the Senior Bowl.
- Packers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
The Packers could go O-line with this pick, but they are known for finding good players late in the draft, but they love to stock the team with good DB’s. Jackson is a playmaking, prototypical #1 CB with good size and coverage skills, but teams are concerned about his speed.
- Cardinals – OT Connor Williams, Texas
The Cardinals would love to add a QB here, but with more immediate needs and think they go with a veteran to band aid that position, Tackle is a much more immediate need. Williams is considered one of the best tackles in the draft with good size and athleticism; he would be a welcome addition at LT or RT.
- Ravens – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The Ravens wouldn’t mind adding either Brown or Williams to solidify the RT position, but with both off the board a playmaker is needed at WR even if a veteran is added. Ridley is a playmaker with good hands, speed, and athleticism who could help replace pending free agent WR Mike Wallace.
- Chargers – DT Vita Vea, Washington
The Chargers need to add a tackle, but would be better off checking the free agency pool. Vea would be a welcome addition to an already active D-line, as a big piece to take on double teams and provide pressure up the middle; scouts believe he hasn’t reached his full potential similar to Haloti Ngata.
- Seahawks – DE/OLB Arden Key, LSU
The Seahawks are always the wild cards of the draft and will always add the player they think has the most value. In this case the wild card in the draft, but unquestionable talent is Arden Key. Key is an edge rusher with good size, speed, and talent, but off the field concerns and injury is causing him to drop.
- Cowboys – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
The Cowboys defense took a pick step this season finding pressure off the edge, but they want to add more pressure up the middle. Hurst is a big versatile lineman who can play both inside and outside which would increase his value here. He can give them the push against the pass and the run they want.
- Lions – DE/OLB Harold Landry, Boston College
The Lions need to add more playmakers to lacking defense, after leaving the Patriots new HC Matt Patricia knows the value of LB’s. Landry is a battle tested edge rusher with good size and athleticism who would be a solid addition to this defense next to MLB Jarrad Davis and OLB Tahir Whitehead.
- Bills – C/G Billy Price, Ohio State
The Bills have a new unexpected need at Center after the retirement of longtime veteran C Eric Wood who had to retire due to a neck injury. Price is considered to be the best Center in the draft with the physicality to even move inside to guard; versatility always adds value.
- Bills – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
The Bills have made it known they want a new QB to take over the team for the long term. Luckily, at this point (pending prior moves) and thanks to an injury Rudolph will be available here. Rudolph is a tough athletic QB with good size, but some teams question his accuracy and decision making; expect him to rise up the board after the NFL Combine, after having to sit out the Senior Bowl.
- Rams – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
The Rams are young and talented at many positons, but with the pending free agency of Sammy Watkins, WR could be the pick. Sutton is a big WR with good hands and the ability to go up and get the ball then make plays after catch, with the young Rams he could develop into a #1 WR.
- Panthers – WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
The Panthers need to continue to add play makers around QB Cam Newton after losing #1 WR Kelvin Benjamin. Kirk is a consistent playmaking WR with good route running skills, a very undervalued, but important skill. He can help in both the return game and receiving game, like former WR Ted Ginn Jr.
- Titans – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
The Titans could go many ways with this pick with needs on both sides of the ball, but new HC Mike Vrabel should go defense with his 1st choice and best player on the board. Evans is an athletic linebacker with good size the ability to play both inside and outside, but he will be an immediate starter on a good unit.
- Falcons – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
The Falcons could use some help up front on the D-line with the 1yr rental of veteran NT Dontari Poe coming to an end. Da’Ron Payne would be a solid run stuffer next to DT Grady Jarrett; Payne can also give a good push inside with a relentless motor, as seen in the championship game.
- Saints – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
The Saints need a replacement for QB Drew Brees to mentor and continue the success of the franchise. While some expect Mayfield to go higher, this would be a perfect fit for a team that knows how to use an undersized QB who plays with passion and can make all the throws; Baker Mayfield, could sit for a year which would be best.
- Steelers – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Steelers need to find a QB to groom behind Ben Roethlisberger similar to the Saints above and at this point in the 1st round Lamar Jackson would be an ideal fit. Jackson is an athletic QB, who seems to have a better arm than people gave him credit for, but he is clearly a dual threat; a year behind Ben could have him ready with weapons in place.
- Jaguars – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
The Jags are a young team without many needs, but they could use a young reliable pass catching TE with so much inconsistency at the position. Goedert is considered the best TE in the draft and has impressed coaches at the Senior Bowl. He has been a pass catching nightmare in college, but comes from a small school, so transition is always a question, but the talent is not.
- Vikings – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Vikings have a lot of pending questions on offense, but they made it farther than most expected. The Vikings could use an upgrade up front and McGlinchey is a tough blue collar lineman who plays with a physical nature and good technique; however, some teams think he is a RT because of struggles against speed rushers.
- Patriots – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
The Patriots could go many ways with this pick with pending free agents in key spots or trade down, but in this case they add a TE with TE Rob Gronkowski contemplating retirement and oft injured. Hayden Hurst is considered TE 1A or 1B in this draft with good blocking, versatility, and passing ability some scouts feel was underutilized.
- Eagles – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
The Eagles will probably allow RB LeGarrette Blount to walk like teams before them, especially after adding Jay Ajayi, but the team needs a power back to fill that role. Guice is a solid power back who plays with good game speed and could be a workhorse in the league like many other LSU backs in the league.
Teams Without 1st Round Picks: Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs